The yellow leaves are falling
Like cheerful confetti at a wedding.
They sound like gentle rainfall-
I stop and listen.
I realise that it is raining,
ever so softly, like a spring shower.

The tread of my trainers is softened
like I’m walking on a cosy rug,
snuggling up in front of a crackling fire
and toasting marshmallows.

The frost on the grass is still hard
and crunchy
like rice crispy squares.

Soon the sun will come out
from behind the clouds
and the frost will melt.
But for now, it’s beautiful

.Autumn trees Nov 14


The Stairgate

I visited the Stairgate, a parents’ and toddlers’ group, recently. It takes place upstairs in the Gate, a second-hand book, toy and furniture shop in Swindon town centre, on Thursday mornings from 10:30-12 (term time only).
There is a fenced area for the little people (under 4s) to play in, with a good selection of toys (my daughter Bethany loved the ride-on car); while the parents can rest on the comfy sofas with a (free) cup of tea or coffee, kindly provided by the friendly volunteers.
There is free play time, followed by crafts; a snack (usually healthy I’m told, although Bethany enjoyed the choc-chip cookie when we went); and then story and song time. All through December the crafts are Christmas related. I hear that there will be a special visitor from the North Pole on 18th December.
I felt welcomed during my visit, and there is a multicultural fix of families who attend, including British, Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian.
There is a suggested donation of £1.
And if you have any good-quality toys that your kids have outgrown, I know that they will welcome your donations for the shop, especially at this time of year.

On three Saturdays in December (6, 13 and 20), there will be special The Lion, the Witch and the wardrobe themed live performances in the large window downstairs (all welcome to visit); with a Christian message.
The Gate is run by Dawn Prosser of Gateway Church Swindon, who also heads up the Gateway Furniture Project. For more info, contact:

It’s Hallowe’en again – the ugliest time of the year

Great blog.

Milly's Scribblings

Yesterday while on my regular walk, I was winding my way through the residential streets of Vancouver. And I found myself increasingly disturbed by the proliferation of Hallowe’en decorations in the front yards of these quiet little streets.

From giant spiders to tattered ghosts, and severed heads, skeletons, dismembered bodies, blood splatters, half dug graves and disfigured faces. Some were more towards the comical end of the scale, while others were truly gruesome and macabre.

I always struggle at this time of year. I just don’t like Hallowe’en. I’ve never been a fan of horror movies or thriller fiction, and I don’t enjoy violence as entertainment. In truth, I don’t get the fascination for trying to scare one another. So this ‘holiday’ doesn’t really attract me.

But my dislike of it goes deeper than that, to feeling disturbed in my spirit.

I’ve had many conversations over the years, with both…

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